Monday, February 28, 2011


crochet hooks

today i start a week of guest editing four for the day, a daily blog of fours. up there is a preview of one of my fours - four handmade crochet hooks. i have really been enjoying the preparation for this stint. it has auspiciously coincided with my major home, studio and office overhaul. i have been dealing with lots of stuff lately and seeing it in mini collections is very helpful to me in my attempt to understand what it is to own, keep and love things. this is also a great chance for me to share the very special things i am choosing to retain in this clearing process.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

hanky panky.

working on a new idea to solve the problem of our curtainless bedroom window. it currently feels a little sophomoric, but i think i can figure this out...

hanky window

Saturday, February 26, 2011

marching east.

Puces Pop
artwork by pin pals

it is only saturday but i already know that this entire week is going to be devoted to preparations for next weekend's trip to puces pop in montreal.

i haven't even had time to go through the entire vendor list yet. i know there is a big toronto contingent, though (because many of them are road trippin' with me). keep your eyes peeled for shannon, aitor, kalpna, sandi and more. i am also excited to finally try on some supayana duds and see if i can afford to buy a new article of clothing for once.

but until then, back to the button machine and crochet hooks!

anyone in montreal have any special requests for things they would like me to bring? i make no promises but i'm listening.

Friday, February 25, 2011


mitten class (2)b

today i had the great pleasure of attending the sewn mittens class at the workroom. although late in the cold season, the timing was perfect for me as i have recently been charged with making a new pair of mittens for my grampa. sometimes when people know you are crafty, they assume you can do anything and, actually, mittens were a little beyond me. i am sure it is possible to crochet them, but i really prefer knits in mittens - and i don't knit with much proficiency.

it is done for the winter, but i highly recommend earmarking this course for the fall if you are in a position like i was. you can work with knits without having to knit them. all that said, i did not use a knit at all. instead, i chose some scrap wool suiting for the shell and polar fleece for the lining - i wanted mitts that looked like grampa mitts. the pattern is very simple and endlessly flexible. everyone in the class made something entirely different by making small adjustments. we worked with woven wool, cotton knits, fleece, flannel and leather and made mitts with cuffs, elastic gathers or no closing frills at all. it's also not a precision sewing project. knits and fleeces are very forgiving of gummy sewing technique. this was good for my current state of mind. and i was done start-to-finish in under three hours. for some reason, i always think sewing projects will take forever. nope.

in the end, my non-stretch fabric choice for the shell might have made them too small for my grampa (which is a shame) but they turned out nicely and i feel accomplished at sewing again. it has been a while.

oh, and then they possessed me to creepily stalk jerisse. out for that.

mitten class (5)b

Thursday, February 24, 2011

pocket book.

organizer (7)b

i guess this is mostly for leah. i am forever chasing the mystical dragon of streamline organization. unfortunately, i also have a near pathological aversion to using standard materials and tools. i always have to make my own whateveritis and do things the hard way.

that's why i got really excited when i found this little organizer/binder at my local thrift shop. i figured it was some kind of standard size; as it turns out, it hold paper that is half a normal size (8.5" x 5.5"). then i couldn't find any sources for inserts! i happened on one stack of awesome grid paper that fits it, in a louisville thrift store of all places, and that's it.

solution? i have sealed an cut open a bunch of envelopes from my ample hoard and voila - instapockets! these will hold stamps, currencies, communications, travel tickets and itineraries. it's a pretty kitschy solution but such is my style.

if anyone of you book or paper nerds out there knows where i can get actual inserts for this binder, i would be very happy to hear about it. getting my hands on some of those awesome sealable pockets would be pretty swell. or a calendar! can you imagine?

organizer (8)b

organizer (10)b


i have been very happy to see emergences and returns from some of my favourite craft makers in the last few weeks. that paint by numbers america (well, lower 48) by something's hiding in here is just one item in a major etsy shop relaunch that marks the duo's decision to go full time. i am not only excited for your newfound freedoms, guys, but also for the flood of great work this change will bring into the world.

i am also deeply pleased to see the launch of meags' online shop. this cross-stitched beasts are pretty incredible. her talents are not to be trifled with. they bite.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

fight or flight.

passport photo


most of today's activities centred around my upcoming trip to europe. it is just over a month away, but this is the time for tickets to be purchased, itineraries to be confirmed and whatnot. this also meant a thrilling visit to the passport office.

above are my passport photos. aitor said they make me look like a spy. i hope the swiss, germans, french, austrians and/or slovenians don't think so.

heap of faith.

mending pile

does it count as a step towards resolution to simply organize the pile of mending?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

as promised.

here is a fruit of shannon's labours.

fast work and stunning results. it's hard not to love her.

again, these are images for one of my performance projects, the sufferettes (soon to be touring europe).

Monday, February 21, 2011


photo by dustin parr

this is not very craft related (yet) but i thought i would pipe up at the end of this family day to mention another project that has been theiving my time of late. as some of you may or may not know, i have another life as a comedy/improv/theatre performer. it's a dwindling life as i work towards fully committing myself to art and craft, but i am still allowed some pretty exciting flourishes. and man do i love the rush of the stage (if not the gnawing anxieties that come with it).

one of these flourishes is quickly rumbling towards me in the form of another european tour, this time with kayla lorette (that's us together up above) as the sufferettes.

whenever a tour or project like this pops up, i end up extra thankful to have access to the incredibly talented people in my life. with all of two emails, i had dusty on board to make us look appealing and an agreement from shannon to make us some artwork for gig posters and online promotion. we did a photo shoot with shan today. you can be sure i will post the results of her labours here and there when we get them.

the sufferettes' european tour is still taking shape, but you can find our tour plans (and maybe other stuff) here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

ship shape.

shipping centre (17)b

i spent part of today trying to get our home shipping centre in order. the little bits and pieces involved in this have been in the works for a while - a collection of nautical stuff, the new shipping boards i have been working on and a tiny vintage scale that just arrived in the mail.

i am not the best at sorting out messes so today felt like a major accomplishment. the entire chest of drawers (and part of the cabinet beside it) is filled with envelopes, tapes and shipping materials. this is just one of the many tricks my sweetie and i employ to make our home look almost like a home when it is really a secret warehouse.

shipping centre (8)b

shipping centre (12)b

spare change.

i perpetrated the smallest of makeovers here at ye olde blogge. any thoughts? please, feel free to lay into me over this most trivial of shifts. yes! i invite your insults (and only your insults) as a welcome reprieve from the usual kindness of craft blogdom. changes everywhere!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

pencilled in.

Broken Pencil #50
photos by tara bursey

big thanks to broken pencil for listing me in their top 50 people/places/things of the indie arts world. how is it that i belong there? and thanks to tara for figuring out that the new issue is out. they have not updated their webpage yet and i have been in my typical february hermit-state, so i didn't notice the change.

i am really excited to check out this, their 50th issue, because it also features an interview with the selfsame tara about the beginnings of the zine scene in toronto. and who know what else?

there is a launch party happening in a couple of weeks that includes readings and inner-teen competitions (watch out guys - my awkward smile is registered as a deadly weapon). i also have to pick up a copy for myself and one for stacey bode who took the marvellously bizarre picture of me they used.

Broken Pencil #50

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

lazer faire.

workroom (1)b

another afternoon killing time while the laser makes new postal boards at the workroom. it's always a pleasure to spend time crocheting and otherwise occupying myself in that big, bright room.

workroom (3)b

workroom (4)b

above: me organizing thoughts with colour, them organizing fabrics by colour.

workroom (5)b

workroom (7)b

i also got to have an unplanned reunion with reva, her little guy and this adorable mouse she was making for a relative.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

peace of cake.

birthday (5)b

for my birthday, aitor got my mother's recipe for banana cake - the traditional cake of my youth - and made his first ever scratch cake for me! it was a great success. here is the ensuing documentation my mother requested. everyone at the bar we went to was laughing at the hallowe'en themed valentine's cake. to me, it was just perfect.

birthday (8)b

birthday (21)b

as an added bonus, my pasta was also shaped like hearts.

birthday (15)b

Monday, February 14, 2011

for you.

darn it

to you! this has got to be the best valentine ever.

for me.

doom knight birthday (5)b

i am pretty into having friends for neighbours. this way, when there's "something freaky" underneath my balcony, i get a helpful call from outside. if you can't read the signature, this greeting is from doom knight. very freaky, indeed.

and look below - red, green, blue and yellow handed!

doom knight birthday (12)b

thanks, guys!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

to eros is human.

erotic arts and crafts (3)b
the furs and the trees brooches by alexandra raptis

today's erotic arts and craft fair was, despite my exhaustion, full of joys tucked into the corners of the gladstone. note to self: no more comedy show nights followed by craft fair mornings. i always love this show for all the amazing and surprise erotic work that comes out of the woodwork. also, writing about this show reveals the innuendo in everything.

i think my favourite things of the whole day were these wood and fur vulvas by montreal maker, alexandra raptis. making vulvas out of stuff is half the formative fodder for regretsy but i think raptis has successfully avoided the pitfalls. i found these guys quite charming, delicate and sometimes funny.

erotic arts and crafts (5)b

speaking of good execution...

erotic arts and crafts (24)b
cumshot cookies by pretty poopie

erotic arts and crafts (25)b
plastic nipple brooches by iyf photography

these latter nipples were cast from a friend of the artist before she had a breast reduction. among other things, he told me that he could fit the mold on his head. i am sure her back is enjoying a needed rest. and there are these mementos of her old parts should she miss them.

Friday, February 11, 2011

playing ice.

snow guy

look who has been camped out in front of my place - an apartment sized snow being. i thought i knew who was responsible but now i don't.


mascots (1)b

mascots (4)b

i spent a lovely thursday evening at the opening of ray fenwick's mascots show and toronto book launch at katharine mulherin contemporary art projects. it is a seriously great show and and equally great opening. appologies to ray for taking only awkward pictures of him. my favourite is below.

ray and money

money + artist = ?

but all silliness aside, it a really wonderful collection of work - somewhere between drawing, painting, design, comedy and story telling. the subject matter also sways from pop culture exploration to very abstract thought. because of all the territory it spans, i think a lot of you out there would find your own thrills in these paintings. ray is also the type who seems constantly excited about the next thing he's working on. so if his work hits a phase you are into, it's not worth taking the moment for granted; it is all probably waiting to launch into a new evolutionary leap.

mascots (7)b

mascots (9)b

mascots (10)b

mascots (11)b



oh, being called mlle. very great.


i got a lovely package in the mail this week from france.


a little piece for my collection of homes, made especially for me with a back designed for hanging on the wall. merci beaucoup, cordialement bisous.

Thursday, February 10, 2011



first of all, i would like to say thank you to the folks over at vitamin daily for featuring my smuttons (pictured above) on their site today. they've given me a big boost in traffic.

if you are new here, thanks for stopping by.

this also seemed as good a time as any to say that the smuttons will be the focal point of my display at this saturday's erotic arts and crafts fair. i am spending most of today and tomorrow making more. they were such a fun hit last year, that i committed to doubling the collection this year. so if you want to come down and pick your own this weekend, do! they will be the same price as in the etsy shop (minus the shipping) and you get to say hi and you get to check out all the other awesome vendors.

no longer assless, chaps!

jean butts (1)b

in keeping with my resolution to mend all my broken junk, i reinstated the posteriors on two favourite pairs of jeans yesterday. a little ironing on, a little stitching and an hour of dragon's den and i have been reunited with two old faves. sure, i look like a scare crow in that first pair. sure, i have had them since high school. but sometimes it becomes a special obsession to keep a singular article of clothes alive.

i know i am a grown-up now because i get irritated when my pants wear out. wearing out was the best part of jeans-ownership when i was a pouty teen in grunge-era vancouver. denim patches provide a happy medium between my two selves.

jean butts (5)b